Does Labour want poor unskilled immigrants who go on welfare?

March 5th, 2012 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Many on the right sometimes think that wants to get a majority of the population dependent on the state, so that they will have a majority who will always vote for greater state spending and dependency.

This story gives fuel to that suspicion:

categories are to be changed in an effort to “reduce the number of unskilled migrants who find it difficult to get jobs and are more likely to get benefit payments”.

Who could be against that?

Applications from parents seeking residency to be with children already in New Zealand will be placed in the slow processing lane if their children-sponsors are not “high-income” people.

Parents will no longer be able to bring in dependent children and applicants who are poor in English will be required to pre-pay for language lessons.

The changes are outlined in a Cabinet paper obtained by the Labour Party, which says the plan creates a divide between the rich and famous and ordinary migrants wanting to move to New Zealand.

Labour is.

Let’s be very clear about this. Migrating to NZ is a privilege. We absolutely should be favouring migrants who have wealth, skills, education etc. We allow a quota of refugees in, where income or wealth is not a factor. But to suggest wealth should not be a factor for migration is economically stupid.

 

Tags: ,

82 Responses to “Does Labour want poor unskilled immigrants who go on welfare?”

  1. PaulL (5,872 comments) says:

    Wealth, or skills and ability to contribute? I realise the two are related, but they’re not the same thing.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. Yoza (1,526 comments) says:

    “Let’s be very clear about this. Migrating to NZ is a privilege. We absolutely should be favouring migrants who have wealth, skills, education etc.”

    To paraphrase: “Whites and honorary whites only!”

    Once again, Kiwiblog fails to surprise.

    [DPF: 50 demerits for smearing. You are a racist turd for suggesting that wealth, skills and education are race based. I've spent 20 years fighting against NZ First wanting to have race based immigration policies, Have you?]

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. hubbers (221 comments) says:

    I think that.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. adze (1,857 comments) says:

    Less surprising than your post Yoza; when I saw your name in the recent comments list I had a very strong suspicion of the angle your comment would take. The race card has very well worn edges.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. Murray (8,838 comments) says:

    Paul it says skills AND ability, not OR.

    To paraphrase yoza (where do the strandard trolls get their code names anyway) RACIST WE SAY YOU ARE RACIST!!!!

    Another hystrical dogwhistle that fails to even notice that they are the ones to mention race. If you’re going to play your race card “yoza” at least try not to be a such an unmitgated fucktard about it.

    But thanks for pointing out that leftards beleive that only white people are educated and have money, your Freduian slip is showing idiot.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. Danyl Mclauchlan (1,065 comments) says:

    According to the immigration statistics, the majority of migrants go into managerial and professional roles, and the number on welfare benefits is tiny. What problem – other than, ‘hey, we’re losing redneck votes to New Zealand First!’ – is National trying to solve here?

    http://stats.govt.nz/tools_and_services/tools/TableBuilder/longitudinal-immigration-survey-new-zealand.aspx

    [DPF: You are looking at a table which shows occupations of those in work only. http://wdmzpub01.stats.govt.nz/wds/TableViewer/tableView.aspx?ReportName=Immigration/Migrants'%20Labour%20Force%20Status%20by%20Wave%20and%20Immigration%20Approval%20Category shows 27,000 out of 100,000 not currently in work.

    I agree that most migrants contribute positively economically to NZ. That is why we have migration. But that doesn't mean that the targeting can not be improved. You will note that these changes talked about are for some categories only

    Also suggesting the changes are motivated by NZ First is pretty idiotics. They were in train long before the last election, and if National was worried about the redneck vote it would hardly have approved the Crafar sale]

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. Monique Watson (1,062 comments) says:

    I agree it could be seen as a racist approach. We want to ensure a higher proportion of bog standard whites are the ones beating and killing their wives and kidnapping kids. Any other outcome is just racist.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. Archer (170 comments) says:

    How is this racist? Unless you think that someone who isn’t wealthy has to be brown… in which case it would seem you are the racist.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. MT_Tinman (2,985 comments) says:

    A very large proportion of the rich people in the world wear brown skin, mainly being from India and Asia.

    I agree with the commynists, this policy is racist against the poor dumb white people. i.e. the type who are stupid enough to in future blindly vote Red or Labour.

    Seems perfect to me.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. dime (9,392 comments) says:

    “To paraphrase: “Whites and honorary whites only!”

    wow, who is the racist here?

    according to you only white people can be wealthy and productive??? or, if they are another colour they are like a sell out?? wtf???

    im not against immigration at all. we need more people. but yeah, we should at least try and get the right people!

    the ability to speak english or be enrolled for english lessons should be a must. i look at it this way – if i went to live in china, i would be learning to speak the language. no matter how poorly i did, i would still try.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. Nick R (497 comments) says:

    You could turn this post around and say that many on the left believe that National wants to use immigration policy to screen out potential migrants who might be inclined to vote Labour.

    But obviously that would just be a crazy conspiracy theory…

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. Bob R (1,336 comments) says:

    @ Yoza,

    Actually if you look at high skilled immigration a large portion would come from Asia. Also, that applies if you follow social science recommendations to select for smart migrants:

    http://mason.gmu.edu/~gjonesb/Immigrant%20IQ

    http://www.american.com/archive/2009/august/dealing-with-diversity-the-smart-way

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    I’d take one hard working, prospective immigrant of any level of wealth and swap them for Yoza in an instant

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. tas (591 comments) says:

    I agree that we shouldn’t let anyone in. But if we don’t let migrants bring their families, they won’t come.

    Parents of skilled migrants are a tricky issue. In particular, they are unlikely to work, but likely to need plenty of healthcare. Since they are likely to be a drain on the taxpayer, we should ensure that their children are adding enough to the economy.

    Language requirements should be tightened. If you can’t communicate, you will struggle to contribute to NZ.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. Danyl Mclauchlan (1,065 comments) says:

    How is this racist? Unless you think that someone who isn’t wealthy has to be brown… in which case it would seem you are the racist.

    It’s called dog-whistling. It works like this.

    National’s marketing and research advisors know there’s a certain percentage of the population that hold racist views. It’s pretty big – at least 10% (New Zealand First’s top poll rating).

    But they also know that as a large, centrist party they can’t say explicitly racist things – there’s a huge cultural taboo against coming out and attacking ‘Asians’, or ‘Islanders’.

    But their researchers and advisors – like DPF – also tell them that if they use phrases like ‘poor unskilled migrants’, then almost everyone who hears those terms know that they’re talking about South Asians and Pacific Islanders. So you appeal to racist swing-voters – who are upset about the Crafer farms sale – without making any overtly racist statements, by coming out and attacking ‘poor unskilled migrants’.

    [DPF: Thanks Danyl for suggesting that I tell National to use phrases such as poor unskilled migrants so they can appeal to racists. You are becoming an expert smear merchant]

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. Bob R (1,336 comments) says:

    @ Nick R,

    NZ can’t afford to maintain its existing social welfare scheme and import more people who will require assistance.

    Plus, you need to take into account social science research showing the importance of skilled migration to productivity (see Jones & Schneider paper linked above).

    http://mason.gmu.edu/~gjonesb/Immigrant%20IQ

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. simonway (371 comments) says:

    Parents will no longer be able to bring in dependent children

    Hooray for splitting up families! Woohoo!

    And dpf: I assume your view that “migrating to NZ is a privilege” means that you’re in favour of cutting off access to Australians?

    [DPF: If they cut off access to NZers, then yes. But our inter-linkages with Australia are so vast, they are the exception to the rule]

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. RRM (9,435 comments) says:

    How are we going to continue living for free off the ever-increasing market values of all those old wooden houses our grandfathers built, if we don’t keep bringing in migrants who are wealthier than we are to keep that “growth” happening? ;-)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. Avalon (39 comments) says:

    “applicants who are poor in English will be required to pre-pay for language lessons”

    Hang on – when the (labour) government rehashed the entire immigration system back in 2004, they also made it a condition that applicants be able to speak English properly. I.e. You couldn’t immigrate here if you couldn’t speak English. Rapidly after that, they changed the rules to allow people who were not fluent in English, to apply, on the condition that they – you guessed it – pre payed for English Language Lessons (though I don’t believe you had to prove that you started, completed or passed the course – the money was all that mattered. I understand they even stopped going that for a while back – but please be clear – Labour had exactly the same intention, and created exactly the same rules.

    But then the Skilled Migrant System was also supposed to stop migrants coming to New Zealand without a job offer, stop high skilled people working as Taxi Drivers, and stop migrants having to get benefits. None of that worked either – which was blatantly obvious to anyone who looked at the system without the blinkered view of “policymakers”.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. Bob R (1,336 comments) says:

    Another reason NZ cannot afford to recruit unskilled migrants who are likely to require assistance.

    New Zealand in 1972 had 26 working people for every beneficiary. Today that ratio is down to 7 to 1 (in fact 3 to 1, if you include superannuitants).

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. RRM (9,435 comments) says:

    Oh and my white English ancestors who came to New Zealand on the sailing ship ‘Hermione’ landing in Port Nicholson in 1882 were “poor, unskilled immigrants”… :-P

    It was good for the Goose then, but apparently it’s not good for the Gander now…?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  22. Bob R (1,336 comments) says:

    “It was good for the Goose then, but apparently it’s not good for the Gander now…?”…

    @ RRM

    There was no welfare system then. If you want to do away with social welfare then fine. Otherwise it will become unsustainable.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  23. Bob R (1,336 comments) says:

    There was an article the other week about community housing support “bursting at the seams”. Do the people complaining about this policy think that bringing in more dependents will help ease the pressure on those services?

    Denmark is a good example of saving billions in this respect which can be used to assist people already in need in their country.

    “Denmark has called for stricter immigration laws after a report concluded that the country’s already stringent regime had saved the country £6 billion over the past 10 years.”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/denmark/8492822/Denmarks-immigration-laws-save-country-6-billion.html

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  24. tas (591 comments) says:

    RRM Says:

    Oh and my white English ancestors who came to New Zealand on the sailing ship ‘Hermione’ landing in Port Nicholson in 1882 were “poor, unskilled immigrants”…

    Times have changed.
    Did your ancestors immigrate to take advantage of the generous welfare system and public healthcare? And, by today’s standards, just about everyone back then was unskilled and poor.

    simonway Says:

    And dpf: I assume your view that “migrating to NZ is a privilege” means that you’re in favour of cutting off access to Australians?

    There is a big difference between opening the gate for Australians and opening the gate for people from poor countries. There is hardly a flood of Australians swamping our welfare, health, and education systems or swamping the market for cheap labour.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  25. Danyl Mclauchlan (1,065 comments) says:

    DPF: Thanks Danyl for suggesting that I tell National to use phrases such as poor unskilled migrants so they can appeal to racists. You are becoming an expert smear merchant

    Read your own comments thread. Your readers don’t have any trouble hearing and understanding the dog-whistle. Are you seriously pretending you don’t understand the code behind the title of your own post?

    [DPF: Having now read every comment in detail, as far as I can see not one single commenter from the right has seen this post as targeting people by race. No one has mentioned PI migration. The only mention of Asian migration has been people defending it.

    It has purely been the left who have viewed this as race based. That speaks volumes.

    And yes I 1000% reject any suggestion of a dogwhistle to do with race. I have advocated in favour of Asian immigration for decades, and detest people like Peter Brown who are white racists. My point is that discrimination on the basis of wealth is absolutely appropriate for migration decisions (except areas such as refugees).]

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  26. Bob R (1,336 comments) says:

    @ Danyl Mclauchlan,

    Perhaps you could address the reasons I’ve put forward above (eg. maintaining the sustainability of the welfare system).

    It makes little sense to increase the burden on something that is already “bursting at the seams”. Again to provide some inconvenient numbers:

    New Zealand in 1972 had 26 working people for every beneficiary. Today that ratio is down to 7 to 1 (in fact 3 to 1, if you include superannuitants).

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  27. kowtow (7,591 comments) says:

    The government is not splitting up families . If you decide to emigrate to NZ you are the person making the decision to leave your parents “behind”. Tough, live with it.

    The Labour Party in Britain has been shown to be guilty of fostering the client state.

    http://www.limitstogrowth.org/articles/2011/03/01/britain-labour-party-busted-for-immigration-flood/

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  28. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    It’s called dog-whistling. It works like this.

    Danyl, if you took that view every single policy any government released would be a dog whistle.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  29. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:


    Parents will no longer be able to bring in dependent children and applicants who are poor in English will be required to pre-pay for language lessons.

    Does this only refer to adult children? If it refers to all dependent children then I’m not sure why anyone would come if they can’t bring their children. Even if we expect them to get student visas for their children this would entail the children growing up in New Zealand without any guarantee to residency at the end of it.

    edit: strange term “adult children” :)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  30. Bob R (1,336 comments) says:

    @ Bevan,

    Danyl doesn’t appear interested in discussing the merits or viability of these policies. So it’s easier to demonise their proponents. Psychologist Jonathan Haidt mentions this here.

    “We’ve moralized things. I’d like to propose that we moralize two things.

    One is demonization. When you have people saying, you can disagree as much as you want, but when you start saying, “They’re only saying that because they’re, you know, they’re a racist or they’re in bed with this company,” or, and even though sometimes that might be true. But we are so prone to dismiss other people and demonize their motives that we’re usually going to be wrong about that. So if we could begin to see this in each other and even challenge each other and say, “Hey, you’re demonizing.” Like, just, you know, disagree with them but stop attributing bad motives to the other side. So if ten years from now people sort of recognize that and could call each other out on in, that would at least be some progress.”

    http://www.truth-out.org/jonathan-haidt-explains-our-contentious-culture/1328368654

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  31. dime (9,392 comments) says:

    Danyl does seem to be getting a little more nasty, a little more hysterical as time goes on.. and the left continues to fuck itself :)

    [DPF: I have found Danyl has become quite nasty in the last year. He has especially smeared me so often, that I have almost lost count. He once defamed me so badly (suggesting I operate Curia in total breach of all professional ethics and the Privacy Act) that I was almost moved to consider defamation. I don't know why he has changed, but many have noticed it]

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  32. djp (65 comments) says:

    All this dog-whistle bullshit reminds me of the response I got from my then SO when I iterated my reasoning why I no longer believed in god: “Thats just satan making you think that way” ಠ_ಠ

    To Danyl et al a big fuck you, cast your aspersions somewhere else…. having open borders (which conceptually I like btw) with our current welfare and health system (which is the problem) would be like telling every homeless person in Auckland that there is a room and a hot meal at Danyl’s place.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  33. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    I think the government’s focus here is wrong. It’s not actually everyone’s goal in life to sit on a benefit. My impression is that the vast majority of people who come here want to work though I’m not sure what benefit numbers the government has which show a link to the adult child category or any other family category.

    But the big problem I see is the number of migrants who come here to study at “upstairs” business school, get a rubbish qualification of little worth, and then go to work in the local supermarket or manage a corner dairy. More discrimination needs to be applied to qualifications and occupations which are awarded points under the Skilled Migrant Category.

    Another problem is that we make it too hard for people to invest and start businesses in New Zealand. The standards are too stringent when our primary focus should be “Do they have money?”. If they have money then I am less concerned about their business “expertise” or what experience they have. An LTBV visa doesn’t entitle them to residency so what’s wrong with just giving them a chance purely on the basis that they have enough money to start a business which employs a kiwi?

    The other thing is that I don’t care if a business investor speaks english or not. Their money is more important. Skilled migrants should be expected to speak a decent amount of English but people with money shouldn’t. At the moment an investor requires 10 million dollars before they don’t have any english language requirements. 10 million! Sorry Mr 9 million but us kiwis are so fucking up ourselves that we think your 9 million ain’t worth shit. Go learn English… or just move to Australia instead and employ Australians.

    It’s understandable that the government is obsessed with benefits given how much we spend on them, but this is a good example of how the government is not putting effort into CREATING jobs in the first place. But this is not just National, it’s Labour as well. Both parties have presided over a failed business migration policy and the effects have been that we have few business migrants while we have tons of people studying for a Diploma in Business before going on to be Checkout Supervisor.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  34. Bob R (1,336 comments) says:

    ***having open borders (which conceptually I like btw) with our current welfare and health system (which is the problem) would be like telling every homeless person in Auckland that there is a room and a hot meal at Danyl’s place.***

    Milton Friedman pointed this out a while ago:

    “It’s just obvious you can’t have free immigration and a welfare state,”

    http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/221330/look-milton/robert-rector

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  35. Rightandleft (629 comments) says:

    I think this policy change is disgusting. In fact I dislike the way we allow wealthy investors to the front of the immigration queue already, opening the doors to the people most likely to drive up housing prices. Now they will get special consideration when bringing their family over as well? How could that be to our economic advantage. The number of people on a benefit right now is not crippling the economy and according to the Welfare Working Group’s worst-case scenario it would take 30 years before we return to the rate of dependance on the benefit we had in 2000!

    I do favour National’s welfare reforms on principle because I agree that parts of society are living long-term on the benefit and this traps kids into a cycle of poverty. But this immigration law change is unnecessary and unfair.

    How exactly do they define ‘wealthy’ migrants? Almost all migrants today are highly skilled and go through a lengthy and expensive process to come here. Bringing over parents is also already expensive and even more length a process to go through, taking years. Parents can already only come if the majority of their children reside in NZ. And they are not automatically eligible for the benefit either. They have to wait two years to earn that priveledge, meaning they have to work and pay tax into the system for two years, more than many NZ-born teens who go straight onto the benefit at age 18 without paying a cent of tax in their lives. I would also very much disagree that migrants come over here to live off the social welfare system. Migrants are usually among the hardest working people around, in any country.

    I’m an American immigrant to NZ and work as a secondary school teacher. I doubt my $50k/year salary would be considered wealthy, but I am highly skilled and hold a post-graduate qualification from Auckland Uni. I pay my fair share of tax and contribute to NZ’s development in an important role. If I did someday want to bring my parents over why should my application be sent to the back of the queue behind some wealthy investor just because they make more money, for themselves? I’m doing the public service, educating the next generation of entrepreneurs, doctors and politicians. So why should I be the one at the back of the bus on this one?

    I’m fine with immigration assessing family category visas on a case by case basis, as they already do, and denying the visa when it is clear the sponsor is on a benefit or the parents will surely become a burden on the state, but creating a wholesale division based on the wealth of the sponsor alone is ludicrous! Honestly this sounds more like we’re importing the old British class system straight off the Titanic.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  36. Danyl Mclauchlan (1,065 comments) says:

    Okay – if it’s not a dog-whistle then what problems does the new policy solve? Is there a high rate of immigrants on the welfare system? No. Are they unskilled? No. We have a points system, and migrants have a higher rate of skilled employment than the baseline population. Are they ‘unsustainable’, or bad for the economy. No. Every economist will tell you migration is great for economic growth.

    So what’s the problem?

    [DPF: As pointed out on your blog, this decision was made in May 2011. To link it to NZ First and the Crafar backlash is just desperate.

    If you look at the story in more details, it is the family reunification categories that are having this policy applies to them, not the general skills one.]

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  37. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    > Let’s be very clear about this. Migrating to NZ is a privilege.

    So is buying sensitive land.

    [DPF: It is, yes]

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  38. Bob R (1,336 comments) says:

    ***Every economist will tell you migration is great for economic growth.***

    Not true, I just quoted you Milton Friedman above on this criticising the delusional views of some libertarian economists.

    ***there a high rate of immigrants on the welfare system? No. Are they unskilled? No. We have a points system, and migrants have a higher rate of skilled employment than the baseline population.***

    Statistics? Also, I’m not sure why you oppose a policy that aims to “reduce the number of unskilled migrants who find it difficult to get jobs and are more likely to get benefit payments”. It seems from the above that you support a points system that intends to do this already? Why would you be opposed to fine tuning it to achieve the goal stated above?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  39. Danyl Mclauchlan (1,065 comments) says:

    It’s just obvious you can’t have free immigration and a welfare state

    And we don’t have free immigration.

    New Zealand in 1972 had 26 working people for every beneficiary. Today that ratio is down to 7 to 1 (in fact 3 to 1, if you include superannuitants).

    And how did they do that back in ’72? Well, the population was (a) a lot younger, thus less people on sickness and invalids benefits, and (b) the government had a full employment policy. Instead of being unemployed, marginal workers worked for the Forestry Service, or the Railroad or the like.

    Those were pretty inefficient organisations, so they were privatized and sold, all the marginal workers were laid off and, shockingly, totally unpredictably, welfare numbers increased by a corresponding amount.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  40. Pete George (22,781 comments) says:

    Standard tactic – talk about imigration, get accused of being rascist. Talk about social welfare, get accused of bennie bashing. Talk about poverty, get accused of wanting to starve the poor.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  41. Bob R (1,336 comments) says:

    ***No. Every economist will tell you migration is great for economic growth.***

    @ Danyl Mclauchlan

    Just further on this point – the key is the skill level of the migrants (and whether you look at GDP per capita or overall GDP). See the report by the UK House of Lords Select Committee on Economic Affairs – “The Economic Impact of Immigration” (2008):

    “Immigration has become highly significant to the UK economy: immigrants
    comprise 12% of the total workforce—and a much higher proportion in London.
    However, we have found no evidence for the argument, made by the Government,
    business and many others, that net immigration—immigration minus emigration—
    generates significant economic benefits for the existing UK population.

    Overall GDP, which the Government has persistently emphasised, is an irrelevant
    and misleading criterion for assessing the economic impacts of immigration on the
    UK. The total size of an economy is not an index of prosperity. The focus of
    analysis should rather be on the effects of immigration on income per head of the
    resident population. Both theory and the available empirical evidence indicate that
    these effects are small, especially in the long run when the economy fully adjusts to
    the increased supply of labour. In the long run, the main economic effect of
    immigration is to enlarge the economy, with relatively small costs and benefits for
    the incomes of the resident population.

    The economic impacts of immigration depend critically on the skills of
    immigrants. Different types of immigrant can have very different impacts on the
    economy.”

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200708/ldselect/ldeconaf/82/82.pdf.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  42. Bob R (1,336 comments) says:

    ***And how did they do that back in ’72? Well, the population was (a) a lot younger, thus less people on sickness and invalids benefits, and (b) the government had a full employment policy. Instead of being unemployed, marginal workers worked for the Forestry Service, or the Railroad or the like.

    Those were pretty inefficient organisations, so they were privatized and sold, all the marginal workers were laid off and, shockingly, totally unpredictably, welfare numbers increased by a corresponding amount.***

    @ Danyl Mclauchlan,

    And so have a number of social problems associated with unemployment and welfare dependency. I’m not sure how this suggests the government (or any government) would be wrong to aim to “reduce the number of unskilled migrants who find it difficult to get jobs and are more likely to get benefit payments”.

    I thought NZ was already borrowing significant amounts of money each week, and looking to reduce the public service because of cash issues?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  43. Yoza (1,526 comments) says:

    There seem to be some very confused people writing here (once again, no surprise – it is Kiwiblog)

    The term ‘Honorary White’ was used by the apartheid regime in South Africa to describe Asians whom the white regime deemed ‘privileged’ enough to associate freely with white people. It is so glaringly obvious to whom DPF refers when using the term, “…poor unskilled immigrants who go on welfare…”, that it seems almost banal pointing it out.

    As for my comment being a ‘smear’, this isn’t the first time on Kiwiblog that dog-whistling has been used to generate hate speech against a marginalised minority. If the shoe fits…

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  44. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    I don’t know why he has changed, but many have noticed it

    Oh cut him a little slack, he’s still upset that the country dared to embrace that evil John Key over that nice sweet lovely lady Helen. And then they had the audacity to give the contemptible money launderer a second term!!!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  45. Kokila Patel (12 comments) says:

    These immigration rules are too complicated. If you want to bring your parents over, you should commit to supporting them so we don’t have migration that will never be productive. Children will eventually become taxpayers, but not people over the age of 65. Racist? No. Ageist? Yes, but all immigration rules discriminate in some way. It would be interesting to know how many people with no siblings immigrate with 2 (or more) living parents over 65, and how much they have to earn to offset the cost.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  46. Bob R (1,336 comments) says:

    @ Yoza,

    Are you able to address the merits of the policy? I suspect not. Hence the demonization. Nice way to stifle discussion but not good for sensible policy making and debate.

    I think you should take on board the suggestion from Professor Jonathan Haidt:

    “We’ve moralized things. I’d like to propose that we moralize two things.

    One is demonization. When you have people saying, you can disagree as much as you want, but when you start saying, “They’re only saying that because they’re, you know, they’re a racist or they’re in bed with this company,” or, and even though sometimes that might be true. But we are so prone to dismiss other people and demonize their motives that we’re usually going to be wrong about that. So if we could begin to see this in each other and even challenge each other and say, “Hey, you’re demonizing.” Like, just, you know, disagree with them but stop attributing bad motives to the other side. So if ten years from now people sort of recognize that and could call each other out on in, that would at least be some progress.”

    http://www.truth-out.org/jonathan-haidt-explains-our-contentious-culture/1328368654

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  47. kowtow (7,591 comments) says:

    right and left.

    “change unnecessary and unfair.” Why should an immigration policy be ‘fair”?Whatever policy we have it should benefit NZ society, it doesn’t have to be fair.

    My plumber is highly skilled but doesn’t have a qualification from some uni.Considering yourself highly skilled cos you have a piece of paper saying you went to some lectures sounds elitist to me.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  48. eszett (2,332 comments) says:

    I’m not sure how this suggests the government (or any government) would be wrong to aim to “reduce the number of unskilled migrants who find it difficult to get jobs and are more likely to get benefit payments”.

    The government would have to provide numbers to back up such a claim. How big a problem is this actually? How many unskilled workers are coming into the country and ending up on benefit?

    [DPF: You are looking at a table which shows occupations of those in work only. http://wdmzpub01.stats.govt.nz/wds/TableViewer/tableView.aspx?ReportName=Immigration/Migrants'%20Labour%20Force%20Status%20by%20Wave%20and%20Immigration%20Approval%20Category shows 27,000 out of 100,000 not currently in work.

    Follow the link and you will find the numbers:

    Employed 76,860
    Not employed but seeking work 2,310
    Not employed and not seeking work 24,390
    Total 103,570

    So DFP is being a bit disingenuous here. While he is right that 27,000 out of 100,000 are not working, only 2300 are actually not working but seeking work.

    That's a 3% unemployment rate, well below overall unemployment rate.

    So the question is, what problem is the government trying to solve here?

    [DPF: Just because they are not looking for work, doesn't mean they do not pose a fiscal burden on the taxpayer. Consider that your 60 year old parents are coming out. It's better for the economy that the parents who have a few hundred thousand dollars have priority over the parents who have no assets at all]

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  49. dime (9,392 comments) says:

    Yoza – what do you teach? im assuming you teach high school and not primary.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  50. Bob R (1,336 comments) says:

    ***While he is right that 27,000 out of 100,000 are not working, only 2300 are actually not working but seeking work.
    ***

    Do you have any data on whether they are receiving welfare? That, for example, is the problem places like California face from low skill immigration actually being a net cost on the state.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=112167023

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  51. pete (428 comments) says:

    DPF: I have found Danyl has become quite nasty in the last year. He has especially smeared me so often, that I have almost lost count.

    If you don’t like being called names, then maybe you could try dog-whistling less and stop using dodgy statistics?

    [DPF: You really don't get it. If my stats are dodgy, then attack the stats. But I will not tolerate on my blog people attacking my motives, or calling me racist.

    I critique often what others say on the Internet, which I disagree with. It is very very rare for me to attack another individual's motives, or suggest they are not advocating their views in good faith.

    All I ask for is the same courtesy back to me. But it seems it is impossible for some of you. You have a pathological need to attack the person, not the argument]

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  52. Bob R (1,336 comments) says:

    ***If you don’t like being called names, then maybe you could try dog-whistling less and stop using dodgy statistics****

    @ Pete,

    It says something about the intellectual bankruptcy of some people that their only argument is to demonise the other sides motives rather than address the substantive argument (see Haidt’s point above). This only serves to silence discussion rather than allow rational discourse.

    Can you elaborate on why you would oppose a policy that aims to reduce the number of unskilled migrants who find it difficult to get jobs and are more likely to get benefit payments?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  53. pete (428 comments) says:

    It says something about the intellectual bankruptcy of some people that their only argument is to demonise the other sides motives rather than address the substantive argument

    Danyl tried to address the “substantive argument” earlier. Dpf replied with misleading statistics.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  54. La Grand Fromage (145 comments) says:

    Danyl has become a giant douche who has let his notoriety in the rarefied world on NZ online dicussion go to his head. Of course in reality being known for taking part in NZ online political discussion makes you a douche anyway.

    These days when not spouting barely thought through opinions on Government policy he engages in psuedo intelectual teasing of Shelley Brideman (funny to start with but quite an old joke now).

    A real shame.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  55. Psycho Milt (2,260 comments) says:

    Okay – if it’s not a dog-whistle then what problems does the new policy solve? Is there a high rate of immigrants on the welfare system? No. Are they unskilled? No. We have a points system, and migrants have a higher rate of skilled employment than the baseline population. Are they ‘unsustainable’, or bad for the economy. No. Every economist will tell you migration is great for economic growth.

    So what’s the problem?

    Nobody seems to have addressed those points, so let’s see them again. Any takers?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  56. Bob R (1,336 comments) says:

    @ Psycho Milt,

    See my comments at 12:34 above regarding “every economist will tell you migration is great for economic growth”. Particularly, read the UK economic affairs select committee report on economic impact of migrants.

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200708/ldselect/ldeconaf/82/82.pdf.

    Also, as I said above – it would be useful to have some data on the question of welfare dependency. In the meantime, I don’t see why anyone would disagree in principle with efforts to “reduce the number of unskilled migrants who find it difficult to get jobs and are more likely to get benefit payments”. Perhaps you can explain?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  57. djp (65 comments) says:

    >Danyl tried to address the “substantive argument” earlier. Dpf replied with misleading statistics.

    Danyls argument was that there is a small minority of immigrants on welfare so what is the problem. Somebody replied and said (considering that we get to choose who is allowed to immigrate) what is the problem with tweaking the immigration conditions to the aim of reducing immigrants on welfare even more?

    Thinking about it I guess there is the possibility that the conditions become onerous and bar or deter what would be productive immigrants.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  58. pete (428 comments) says:

    Thinking about it I guess there is the possibility that the conditions become onerous and bar or deter what would be productive immigrants.

    Basically this. Since there is approximately zero problem, why run the risk of deterring productive immigrants?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  59. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    Investor residents since 2000:

    00/01: 2599
    01/02: 5170
    02/03: 5352
    03/04: 5661
    04/05: 3932
    05/06: 752
    06/07: 288
    07/08: 120
    08/09: 59
    09/10: 93
    10/11: 179
    11/12: 127

    Perhaps something the government should focus on more?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  60. eszett (2,332 comments) says:

    Do you have any data on whether they are receiving welfare? That, for example, is the problem places like California face from low skill immigration actually being a net cost on the state.

    No I don’t. But then again, I am not the one who’s claiming that there is a problem that needs fixing, am I?
    I would like to see some numbers that actually support the need for a policy change.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  61. cha (3,779 comments) says:

    I wonder if Karl Wolfskehl would say the same today.

    For a week now…I have been a citizen of an island and therewith a small dot in the Commonwealth. It really reassures me to have found a place after eight years of having been stateless and of having received hospitality in a decent and truly humane society.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  62. Monique Watson (1,062 comments) says:

    You’re not going to deter shit. What’s the point in keeping the bar low, when you can attract a better class of citizen, without any trouble? It’s an odd worldview that would put the concerns of other nations’ non-productive citizens ahead of it’s own. I think DPF is being accused of not CARING enough. That’s the dogwhistle behind most if the accusations from the left; it’s the traditional way of garnering votes. Must be frustrating when noone gives a shit about catering for other nations hopeless cases. a

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  63. Bob R (1,336 comments) says:

    ***I would like to see some numbers that actually support the need for a policy change.***

    I would have thought that any recruitment policy would naturally aim to “reduce the number of unskilled migrants who find it difficult to get jobs and are more likely to get benefit payments”. The onus should be on those suggesting otherwise to show why recruitment should allow those likely to require benefits.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  64. Scott Chris (5,875 comments) says:

    Many on the right sometimes think that Labour wants to get a majority of the population dependent on the state, so that they will have a majority who will always vote for greater state spending and dependency

    Yeah, the GOPist lunatic fringe.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  65. grumpyoldhori (2,410 comments) says:

    Rightandleft interesting argument you have, you are against the wealthy who can afford to pay for their parents health care etc getting first in line.
    Why should we give your parents health care when a Kiwi who takes his parents to the USA does not get it free from the US taxpayer ?

    Arguing about kiwi kids on the dole, sorry dear boy but they are native born you are not.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  66. eszett (2,332 comments) says:

    I would have thought that any recruitment policy would naturally aim to “reduce the number of unskilled migrants who find it difficult to get jobs and are more likely to get benefit payments”. The onus should be on those suggesting otherwise to show why recruitment should allow those likely to require benefits.

    The current system is working fine. Numbers above showing that the unemployment rate amongst migrants is half that of the general population.

    The onus should be on those suggesting otherwise.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  67. Bob R (1,336 comments) says:

    ***Numbers above showing that the unemployment rate amongst migrants is half that of the general population. ***

    As it should be – however, if there is still unemployment in that group that would suggest there is still room for improvement. Again, I’m not sure why you’re opposed to that.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  68. expat (4,048 comments) says:

    [DPF: I have found Danyl has become quite nasty in the last year. He has especially smeared me so often, that I have almost lost count. He once defamed me so badly (suggesting I operate Curia in total breach of all professional ethics and the Privacy Act) that I was almost moved to consider defamation. I don't know why he has changed, but many have noticed it]

    It’s called having responsibilities and seeing how these responsibilities make his once dearly held liberal values seem less worthwhile.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  69. wat dabney (3,655 comments) says:

    Stopping very poor people relocating to create a better future for themselves and their children. It doesn’t get much more immoral than that.

    Abolish the benefits system and let people move where they will.

    The only people stopping this are those who make a living off benefits (who are very rich compared to these would-be immigrants) and the politicians who achieve power through their patronage of the system.

    A more corrupt and immoral arrangement it is hard to imagine.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  70. adze (1,857 comments) says:

    From the Radio NZ News website:

    Parents moving to New Zealand under this category will no longer be able to bring dependent children with them.
    As well as tightening the Parents Category, there are plans to scrap the Sibling and Adult Child category.
    [Immigration Minister Nathan Guy] says about 1400 people have been entering New Zealand under this category every year.
    “Despite the fact that they needed to have a job offer to come into New Zealand, after the first 18 months about a third of them ended up being on a benefit.
    “So we want to ensure that people coming into New Zealand can perform in our modern economy and not be reliant on the taxpayer.”

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  71. Rightandleft (629 comments) says:

    Kowtow, It was NZ Immigration which considered me highly skilled when it accepted me under the skilled migrant category, where that ‘piece of paper’ get you to the front of the queue, and rightly so. I didn’t just attend a few lectures to earn that qualification, I put in several years of hard work, including working in my fair share of very unskilled jobs most of the hours I wasn’t studying. I also had to defer earning any real money several years, and take student loans in the tens of thousands of dollars (and mine have interest since I had to get them from the US government).

    Grumpyoldhori, Nowhere does it say the wealthy would be forced to pay for their parent’s healthcare. If they hurt themselves in a fall (which the elderly are more prone to) ACC would still be picking up the bill. Being from the US my parents would insist on private healthcare and could easily afford it (they pay US$1,500/month for very basic insurance back in the US) but I doubt I’d be considered wealthy enough as I’m a young professional. They have far more assets than I do, but I’d be the sponsor.

    As to those Kiwi kids going on the dole without paying any tax, I would add that some of them are not NZ-born at all. Some are immigrant kids who moved here with their families. Also, I do think the situation around healthcare in the US is a travesty. My parents high fees still get them very little (their excess is US$3,000/year, per person). I support a universal healthcare system there and I also disagree strongly with US immigration laws, which have created a disastrous situation there with millions of undocumented aliens.

    I agree that immigrants to NZ need to be skilled and speak English, and I would be fine with an immigration law requiring family migrants over a certain age or unlikely to work to pay their own medical expenses. But that isn’t what this law change would do at all.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  72. eszett (2,332 comments) says:

    As it should be – however, if there is still unemployment in that group that would suggest there is still room for improvement. Again, I’m not sure why you’re opposed to that.

    The title of the post was “Does Labour want poor unskilled immigrants who go on welfare?” suggesting that there is a problem with unskilled immigrants coming here an who end up on welfare and that anyone who opposes this change wants more of that to happen.

    There is nothing to support that this is the case. There is no data provided of how many end up on welfare, but the unemployment stats suggest not many. (if any) Even those unemployed, how many are just searching jobs and or short term unemployed.

    Why are they unemployed and how would these changes prevent that in the future.

    All this suggest that the changes are motivated to score some cheap political points rather than improve immigration. Especially with post titles like this one. Danyl’s suggestion may not be too far off the mark, given how sensitive DPF’s reaction was to it.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  73. Rightandleft (629 comments) says:

    Traditionally in NZ it has seemed to be the left which has had a more vested interest in restricting immigration. The unions wanted to protect their workers from competition. It was Labour/NZ First which tightened immigration law quite a bit in 2005 and then ran on even tighter immigration controls in 2008. The Greens want to protect the environment regardless of what that does to the economy, so they could easily become quite anti-immigrant as more humans means more motorways etc. National and ACT ran on quite pro-migrant platforms in 2011, so I am surprised to see these changes were already being talked over, or even green-lighted before the election.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  74. Scott Chris (5,875 comments) says:

    Okay – if it’s not a dog-whistle then what problems does the new policy solve?

    Perhaps there is an element of dog whistling in this policy, but I don’t regard it as cynically as do Danyl et al. To have too liberal an immigration policy would result in Winston Peters gaining more leverage in parliament, so National has to appeal to the moderate racists to mitigate this problem. (as did Labour when in power)

    I really don’t believe either National or Labour are as unscrupulous and power hungry as some people think they are. At a guess, I’d say 9 out of 10 MPs have their constituents best interests at heart.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  75. mikenmild (10,630 comments) says:

    Good thread. Looks like DPF has been caught out overselling the message again.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  76. Viking2 (11,125 comments) says:

    Had a coup[le of Samoan girls apply for a job a week or 3 back. Both on the dole. When questioned one had been hgere less than a year and had been referred by winz to us. Questioned further it seems that her Aunty went back to Samoa and adopted her and was then allowed to bring her into NZ as her family.

    Now that seems to me to be the biggest rort around. Does immigration know this rort exists? Do they even fucking care.? and How many others like Indians do the same shit??

    Cut this shit out. No benefits should be available for 5 years.

    Needless to say I employed a kwiw born and bred and also been unable to get a job.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  77. mikenmild (10,630 comments) says:

    Surely you had a better clue who would be a better worker than country of origin? Please tell me you did.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  78. thor42 (907 comments) says:

    “Does Labour want poor unskilled migrants who go on welfare?”
    Yes, they do. The reason is obvious – poor voters are Labour voters. There are very few exceptions to that rule. A few poor voters will opt for Mana (and maybe the Greens), but most vote Labour.

    One of my concerns is Muslim immigrants. The UK and Europe are seeing the effects of massive Muslim immigration in the last 10-20 years or so. At the top of the “feeling the heat” list are the UK, France and Sweden.
    We need to minimise (if not stop altogether) the number of Muslims coming here. We do not need Islam here, and we do not need the problems that Europe and the UK have.

    Islam is not a “religion of peace”. It is a cruel, deceptive, oppressive and violent cult. You needn’t just take my word for it either – take the word of **former Muslims** who have left it.
    http://www.apostatesofislam.com/
    http://wikiislam.net/wiki/Main_Page
    http://wikiislam.net/wiki/People_Who_Left_Islam#All_Testimonies

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  79. pete (428 comments) says:

    DPF: It is very very rare for me to attack another individual’s motives, or suggest they are not advocating their views in good faith.

    How about you go read the title of this post, and then stop being so fucking sanctimonious.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  80. asterisk.4 (13 comments) says:

    I do believe this is the day when the tune changed from
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jk0dBZ1meio
    to

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  81. hj (6,347 comments) says:

    Immigration is one area where left and right agree (for different reasons).

    80% of our population growth in the last couple of decades has been the net inflow of non NZ citizens .

    “Among policy and analytical circles in New Zealand there is a pretty high degree of enthusiasm for high levels of immigration. Some of that stems from the insights of literature on increasing returns to scale. Whatever the general global story, the actual productivity track record here in the wake of very strong inward migration is poor. In an Australian context, the Productivity Commission – hardly a hot-bed of xenophobia or populism – concluded that any benefits from migration to Australia were captured by migrants and there were few or no discernible economic benefits to Australians. And that was in a country already rich and successful and with materially higher national saving and domestic investment rates than those in NZ.”

    http://www.treasury.govt.nz/downloads/pdfs/mi-jarrett-comm.pdf

    Government policies blamed for house prices

    “Immigration and tax breaks for investment in residential property are being cited as the underlying causes of steep increases in the cost of housing over the past decade.
    New Zealand now boasts one of the highest rates of home unaffordability in the world as a result of prices rising far faster than incomes, and the government’s Savings Working Group blames that squarely on the policies of successive governments.
    Although “the favourable tax treatment of property investment” accounted for about 50% of house price increases between 2001 and 2007, the working group said, there was also strong evidence that rapid swings in immigration brought about price-rise “shocks”.
    There was a sharp spike in immigration in 2001, 2002 and 2003 and, said working group committee member Dr Andrew Coleman, it appeared that property prices did not fall anywhere near as greatly when immigration fell again.
    The report added that there was little evidence that immigration boosted local incomes. In fact, the need to build roads and schools meant that net migration contributed to the national deficit. ”
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/4622459/Government-policies-blamed-for-house-prices

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  82. hj (6,347 comments) says:

    “According to the immigration statistics, the majority of migrants go into managerial and professional roles, and the number on welfare benefits is tiny”
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/pumpkin-case/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501364&objectid=10618536
    One of 6 Chinese Newspapers in Auckland
    =========
    Without migrants who will fill those subdivisions????

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.